New recruits sign on for 'Orson Welles'

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LONDON -- Claire Danes, Eddie Marsan, Leo Bill and Imogen Poots have joined the cast of RIchard Linklater's "Me and Orson Welles," an adaptation of the period coming-of-age novel by Robert Kaplow.

They join Zac Efron and Ben Chaplin in the cast for the 1937-set movie, which centers on a high school student (Efron) who, while strolling the streets of New York, happens upon the yet-to-open Mercury Theatre and is noticed by its mercurial founder, Orson Welles.

He lands a bit part in "Julius Caesar," the production that catapulted Welles to the top, and spends the next week learning about life and love.

Newcomer Christian McKay plays Welles, and Chaplin ("Water Horse: The Legend of the Deep") has been cast as English film and stage actor George Coulouris.

The script was penned by Holly Gent Palmo, who worked on Linklater's "Dazed and Confused," and Vince Palmo, who is a long time collaborator with the director.

Ann Carli is producing the film, which is scheduled to shoot on the Isle of Man, London and New York beginning in February.

With backing from the Isle of Man Film Commission and Framestore Feature, the title is produced by Marc Samuelson ("Stormbreaker," "Wilde"), Carli and Linklater with Steve Christian, John Sloss and Steve Norris taking executive producer roles.

Cinetic Media will handle domestic sales, and Cinetic Media and Odyssey Entertainment are jointly appointed to rep foreign sales on the project.
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